Pismo Beach police arrest 17 beachgoers near Silver Shoals

Pismo Beach police arrested 17 people on suspicion of alcohol-related crimes Sunday in Shell Beach.

According to Cmdr. Jake Miller, the offences ranged from public intoxication to possession of alcohol on the beach.

However, police did not immediately release the names of those arrested or the specific crimes with which they were charged.

For the fifth year in a row, large crowds of college-aged students, residents and visitors gathered at the beach below the cliffs near Silver Shoals for a daylong celebration of Cesar Chavez Day.

According to Miller, the department saw smaller crowds than in previous years. Police believe poor weather conditions, as well as a media campaign prior to the event, resulted in a lower turnout.

Still, Miller said, police brought in additional resources “in an attempt to curtain alcohol-related crimes and ensure the public’s safety.”

The department is currently preparing for a similar event scheduled to take place at Silver Shoals Beach on April 20, also known as National Stoners Day, he said.

On March 30, 2012, more than 3,000 shorts-and bikini-wearing beachgoers spent the day partying at the popular Shell Beach spot, police said.

That year, officers arrested three people on suspicion of public intoxication. Two severely intoxicated individuals were transported to a hospital, police said.